Friday, March 27, 2009

Election in El Salvador

Crowds on election day

Image by LShave via Flickr

El Salvador just had a bit of revolution – by election.  After all the years of war, death squads, repression and oppression, the people went to the polls and voted for change – and got it. It’s something that’s going around the world.

Angela, my friend and colleague, just returned from working as an international observer of the electoral process there. She and her family came here from El Salvador years ago, not to make a fortune, but just for some freedom and maybe some safety. Like most people who make such a move, it wasn’t their country they wanted to leave, but rather a terrible government. I don’t know how old Angela is, but I know she’s older than I am. She almost didn’t go to El Salvador because her husband’s been very sick and she didn’t want to leave him alone. He knew she wanted to go and he wanted her to do it, too. He and her sisters conspired to have him stay with them and be taken care of so Angela could go and go she did.

She said there were attempts to steal the election, but enough were uncovered so that they didn’t work. People were brought in from neighboring countries to vote illegally but were discovered and sent packing.

She also said that she was told, and it some cases shown, that if the election had gone differently, there was going to be an armed revolution. And she seems sure that the transition will take place. When it was all over, after days and nights of working hard, she said, “Wonderful. Now we can get some sleep.” She was told no, now it was time to celebrate! Which they did. For all that, she came back glowing and happy. It’s a good thing to get your country back, even if you don’t live there anymore.

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